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Tips for Incorporating Calcium in Your Diet

separator There’s been some evidence in the medical research that people who include calcium in their diets regularly seem to have an easier time controlling their weight. Some researchers think it’s simply because people who eat plenty of dairy foods are less likely to be eating less healthy foods. Others believe that something about calcium itself helps with weight loss.


But whatever the reason, there’s no question that it’s important to get calcium in your diet. Here are some guidelines:

  • Children and teens up to 18 should get 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day

  • Adults ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams

  • Men and women over 50 need 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams. Calcium supplements are often beneficial as well. A doctor, dietitian or nutritionist can help you determine whether to take these supplements.

  • Read food labels to make sure you’re getting the calcium you need.

Sources include

  • Dairy products
  • Calcium-fortified juices
  • Almonds
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Soybeans
  • Canned salmon
  • Blackstrap molasses

If you can’t eat dairy foods…
All children are born with an enzyme called lactase, which is necessary to digest milk. Some people lose this enzyme and become lactose intolerant. For them, eating dairy products can cause gas, cramps and diarrhea.

Here’s a breakdown of percentages of the population having trouble digesting dairy products:

Asian Americans  95%
African Americans 65%
American Indians 65%
Hispanic Americans 50%
Caucasians  15%

The American Academy of Pediatrics; American Dietetic Association
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